Daddy’s Coconut Cake – Nance and Robyn Make the Same Recipe!

Recipe from the cookbook Southern Plate, by Christy Jordan, who has a wonderful web site of the same name, here.

Every Monday, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was from the cookbook Southern Plate (which we both own and which is awesome).

Robyn’s take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I have a hard time choosing a recipe, so I decided I wanted to make something from Christy Jordan’s book, handed it over to Fred and ordered him to choose something. He looked through the book and pointed out the coconut cake (we both like coconut, but he LOVES it), I got Nance’s okay, and we were off to the races.

For the SECOND time in the history of this web site (last week being the first time), I read through the recipe beforehand, so I knew that once the cake was made, it needed to sit in the fridge for 1 – 3 days. Since I’m a middle of the road kind of gal, I decided to make the cake Thursday so that it would be ready in two days (ie, Saturday) to be eaten. We try to eat reasonably through the week so that on the weekend (usually Saturday) we can have cake or pizza or whatever our fat little hearts desire.

The ingredients:

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Yellow cake mix (doesn’t matter what brand – I had this one in the pantry from last time they were on sale), sugar, sour cream, whipped topping (ie, Cool Whip), and shredded sweetened coconut.

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First, following the instructions on the back of the box, make the cake.

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Kiss my ass, Betty Crocker. What’s the point of making a cake if you can’t eat some of the raw batter?

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Cake, ready to be baked.

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While the cake is baking, make your topping. This is simple (we looooove simple, right?), just mix together the sugar, sour cream, Cool Whip, and coconut. I did it in the mixer because I’m the lazy sort, but I’m sure you could stir all that stuff together by hand with no problem at all.

When the cake comes out, you have to let it sit and cool for 10 minutes. Which is just enough time to clean up the kitchen, yell at a cat to get away from the cake, and then wander off into another room and forget that you’re doing anything at all. (Pro tip: Set a timer so that it’ll remind you that you’re, y’know, making a damn cake.)

Poke holes all over the top of the still-warm cake (if you’ve ever made one of those cakes where you poke holes in the top and then pour Jell-O over it, it’s the same idea. Mmmm, Jell-O Rainbow cake. Who’s having a craving?). I used a big fork, you could use, well, just about whatever you want. Fork, knife, spoon, pencils, crayons. If it makes holes, it’ll work.

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Then pour your topping onto the cake (look at that blop of topping over there all by its lonesome, like it couldn’t wait to get on the cake. It was all “BANZAI!”) and smooth it over the top evenly with a spatula. Or a spoon. Or for god’s sake, your fingers. Use what you want, I’m not your mother. (Really, don’t use your fingers, though. Gross.)

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Tell me that doesn’t look like it’s covered in cottage cheese.

Then cover the cake and stick it in the fridge for 1 – 3 days. Though I meant for us to eat it on Saturday, we might have cheated and tried a little bit Friday night.

The verdict? It was really good! I have to tell y’all, I was a little wary of the sour cream. Because when I was making the topping, I ate a bite of it (I am only human, people), and it was good, but it had a bit of a tang to it. You know, that sour cream tang? They call it SOUR cream for a reason, it’s not sweet cream y’all. It’s cream with an attitude. “I am SOUR! ::slap!::” So I was worried that when we ate the cake, it was going to be “Oh, this is … Whoa. What’s in this again?”

But that sour cream taste mostly went away. If I concentrated really really hard and closed my eyes, I could kind of taste a wee tiny teeny little bitty bit of sour creamishness, but I had to go looking for it to notice it.

We’re usually responsible for bringing dessert to Christmas at his family’s house, and Fred actually said that he thinks that next year we should bring this cake. High praise indeed!

Oh, but you probably want to see pictures of the cake, don’t you? Well, let me not deprive you.

Picnik collage


Four out of four cats were like “Bitch, please. We are cats and we don’t want coconut cake. Put some shrimp on this thing, and we’ll eat it all up.” But that’s okay, more for ME.

We ate the cake all day Saturday and then in the evening, we did what we always do when we have leftover sweet stuff on Saturday.

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“What is that slight aftertaste? Is that… sour cream? Dudes, this is FABULOUS.”

The chickens ate every last crumb that we offered them.

So in conclusion, this cake: fabulous. We think so, the chickens think so, the cats don’t know what they’re talking about, and Sunday morning Fred said “Why’d we give all that cake to the chickens? I could go for a piece of it right now!”

Side note: this is a fairly dense cake, so a little piece will fill you up more than you expect. Which is a good thing, right?


Nance’s Take:

Ladies, did you ever have one of those weeks where nothing goes right, your boobs are aching and you’re seriously thinking about punching the neighbors poodle because it won’t ever shut the fuck up?  Well, welcome to my world.  And when Robyn sent me this recipe I was all over it because I’m a hormonal (whore-moans) bitch right now and Fred said COCONUT.  Nobody in the house likes coconut except me and I was all fist in the air with happiness because FUCK THE OPPRESSION – THERE WILL BE COCONUT so sayeth Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza!

I was so much with the oh, hell yeahs that I really didn’t read the damn thing.  Robyn warned me ahead of time that it was 1-3 days in the refrigerator and I was okay with that (hello, COCONUT).  But I was trying to be all better than everyone else because I scoffed at a boxed cake mix. That’s when I ended up surfing my way through 10,000 yellow cake reviews (don’t do it to yourself, not worth it) to find the perfect cake to make for this recipe.  WHO KNEW that yellow cakes were such a to-do?  Not me, man.  I went with a yellow cake recipe that 50% of the people on said was too dry.  I had read way too many of those reviews over the past years and holy, nutbags, batman!  People be crazy! And stupid!  Heavy on the stupid!  Here is a twitter coversation that I had with Jane of that sums it up perfectly (our Jane is the resident genius, ya know).


Yes, I really did LOL myself.  And Robyn is full of shit because I laugh out loud a lot.  Especially since I don’t have to worry about startling 3,000 cats with my chuckles.

Anyway, I made the yellow cake.  And I made the mistake of making it in my Fiestaware casserole dish and it took something like 50 minutes for a toothpick to come clean out of the center.  And the shit hit the fan when I realized that I needed “whipped topping” and not “whipping cream” like I thought.  This, blog readers, is where skimming will get your ass in trouble.  Not only did I have no whipped topping (I use COOL WHIP) in my house, but I wasn’t going out to get it either. Closest grocery store? Closed for the night. Store that is open all night? Too far away. Kiss my ass, cake.


So my cake sat there until I managed to get my hands on some whipped topping (I use COOL WHIP). I don’t know about your house, but no cake sits on the counter untouched for more than an hour. Okay, I’ll admit it. I am the one that started the ball rolling by busting into it. I had to try it to see how it was going to taste. Seriously. What if it tasted like shit? Since I would have to go and get whipped topping (I use COOL WHIP) anyway I might as well find out if I would have to buy a cake mix too, right? Logic thy name is Nance (hush).


This cake may look like crap, but it had a fabulous flavor. Since I would be covering it with the coconut frosting I went ahead and cut the too hard edges off. This is a very good reminder that I need to stop using my Fiestaware for this kind of thing. I have the appropriate pans and I need to just use them. Even if they aren’t as pretty. Sigh.


Once I finally got my hands on the whipped topping (I used COOL WHIP) I just shoved what was left of the cake into an 8×8 pan and decided to halve the frosting recipe. And since I knew Robyn would follow the recipe exactly I decided to mess around with mine.


I replaced the sugar with Splenda because I knew that much sugar would make me sick (I didn’t care about the rest of the family because they hate coconut).


I didn’t even think to use my mixer like Robyn did. I just dumped it all in the bowl and made sure I mixed/stirred it up really well.


I also didn’t bother poking holes in the cake (because my cake wasn’t warm from the oven like it was supposed to be). I just dumped the entire mess over it, covered it with plastic wrap, threw it in the refrigerator and forgot about it. Which is kind of easy to do when its not sitting on the counter calling your name every time you walk past.


This cake, even when done wrong, is really freaking good! I wasn’t sure about the sour cream, but I think it helped cut the super sweetness of the sugar. The husband, who is a serious hater of coconut, actually liked this cake. He said that he had plans on politely trying it and then scraping the frosting off of the cake to finish it. He ended up eating the entire thing – frosting and all! And he said that if I made it again he would definitely eat it. That is a serious recommendation right there!

It’s definitely a winner with me.

Daddy's Coconut Cake - Nance and Robyn Make the Same Recipe!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
Serves: 12
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1½ c. whipped topping
  • 12 oz. shredded sweetened coconut (use frozen, bagged, or canned)
  1. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions in a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. While the cake is in the oven, make the icing: combine the sugar, sour cream, whipped topping, and coconut. Blend well and chill until the cake is ready.
  3. Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then poke holes all over the top of the still-warm cake. Pour the icing over the cake.
  4. Cover well and refrigerate for 1 - 3 days before serving. Store in the refrigerator.